It is a very ancient reverend practice of the Christians, the pilgrimage to the All Holy Tomb of Christ and the Holy Land. From desire and piety with great toil, sacrifices and dangers, many went, even once in their life time, to worship the places that Christ lived and walked.

They would go there prepared as much as possible, cleansed and confessed. Some would make a sacrifice by walking there. Others transferred money and blessings to the shrines as builders and workers. They worshiped at all the all holy shrines, were baptized in the river Jordan and would take with them the Holy Light and different blessed articles such as small crosses, shrouds, candles etc.

When they returned to their village, all the inhabitants with their priest would receive them at the outskirts of the village, peal the bells and with a procession they would accompany them to the Church. For the blessing of being found worthy to worship at the Holy Land, they would be accorded respect and would even change their name by adding to it the name "Hadgis". For example, John Hadgis. The rest of the family would also receive this name. The wife of Hadgis was called "Hadgerska" or "Hadgina". The priest commemorating the name of the Hadgis would also add to them the name "pilgrim". For example, "Hermione pilgrim"

The Hadgids with their pilgrimage would not only change their names but also their lives. They donated more to the Church by attending church more often and following her commandments more faithfully, such as fasting, prayers, confession and holy Communion and above all they were careful in being just. They strongly avoided injustice. Characteristically they avoided during their whole life in using weigh scales to weigh, to avoid erring when weighing. They would not even weigh their children. When others weighed something they would turn their heads away, so that they could not see, ignoring that they possibly could be short changed. In fact when selling weighed sacks of wheat, they would open them and add two handfuls of wheat extra. Or when they would buy something they always pay a bit more.

Once at a village, a coal vendor was passing by with his cart selling coal. Someone went to buy. The coal vendor then told him "You must weigh the coal because I am Hadgis and I do not weigh anything". The other one then replied, "I too do not weigh, for I am a Hadgis too". So they waited on the road until the first passerby weighed the coal.

The pilgrimage of the Hadgids showed their love and piety towards Christ, comprised a station in their life but at the same time was a starting point for a new and spiritual state. The remembrance of the pilgrimage preserved and sustained like oil in an oil lamp, their love for Christ and the All Holy Theotokos, for having been found worthy to worship the place They lived in and touched with Their holy feet.   




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